Mortgage and other types of fraud are on the rise in these  tough financial times. Mortgage fraud is up 26% in 2008 over 2007! This covers fraudulent credit reports, tax returns, employment, appraisals and loan applications. The information comes from a report prepared by the Mortgage Asset Research Institute.

There are many other types of fraud creeping up in connection with leasing, contract sales, illegal wraparounds of underlying property liens, rental deposits, lease options, foreclosure consultants and other assorted issues associated with home ownership and home buying. Lots of people are walking off with other people's deposits, renting out their foreclosed home, walking away with lease option deposits and the list goes on. It's a mine field out there!